Nehemiah 2013: Day

Just do it

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 2:9-20

Text: Nehemiah 2:9-20

Knowing God’s will for our lives can be tricky.  I’ll admit, I’ve tried to circumvent the process a time or two.  (If you happen to check my browser history, please ignore the Google search, “How do I know God’s will for my life?”  And please also ignore anything having to do with rashes.)

But other times, God’s will is as clear as day.  Or in Nehemiah’s case, as we read earlier this week, it can be as clear as an obvious statement from God.  Knowing God’s will isn’t the tricky part in those instances.  You’ve discovered the path, now it’s the carrying it out that stretches us.

Walking in His ways won’t always be popular.  Others will be “very much disturbed.”  (Nehemiah 2:10, NIV)

We may not have a team standing alongside of us, just a few helpers and the shirt on our back.

There will be gates we can’t get through, obstacles and gates and upon careful examination, we’ll realize the daunting task before us.

We’ll search our motives.  Are we telling everyone, for our own glory, what God put on our hearts to do as an act of obedience? (Nehemiah 2:12, NIV)  Or is our right hand unaware of what our left hand is doing (Matthew 6:3, NIV), because we know we can’t lay claim to our obedience?

In our walk, there has to come a point where we block out the naysayers.  A point when we stop surmising what we don’t have to accomplish the task and when we stop examining how very hard it will be.

There comes a point, with a prayer and pure motives, where we just begin the good work.

In spite of the seemingly insurmountable, the mockery and ridicule, He will give us success.

Just begin the good work.

  • I was looking for medical information and found your nice site :)

  • Ellen MR

    W.O.W.

  • Godislikesanta

    You people are ridiculous. You don’t need an invisible man to tell you how to be, who to be, or why to be that way. When’s the last time god spent time with you? Texted you? Called you? All the things that happen in life you assume a ghost did for you or re a result of praying(talking to yourself) when it’s just chance. Prayer Is just a game of chance and when you get what you want you assume god has answered you prayers, but pray to a fucking desk and the same occurs. Religious people can be so judgemental too. Mostly Christians. God’s allegedly this all knowing loving being, yet in the book you call the bible he’s a very judgemental, racist, sexist person. If you read the whole thing it’s impossible to get to heaven. God’s an asshole in the book. Old testament or new who cares. He says people are to be stored to death yet thou shall not kill? Well that’s odd. He also says he’ll turn you against your mother, father, friend, neighbor and so on. Wow how friendly. Then he says you are to put him before everyone? Gee, before my own family who gave birth to me and raised me and made me the person I am today and educated me? What a nice guy your god is. People are so fixated on believing in this god but why? Mainly because you can’t deal with the idea that when you die it’s over? I get that, but people are being lied to and misled. Also why is religion soooooo superficial? Golden gates? All this money to churches we donate? Have you seen some of these christian establishment’s? They’re huge and the people who own them are rich? Why does God need all that money? Think he has a checking account? He’ll no. However they sing songs like all the money and possessions don’t add up to the love God has for you, as they ask for donations for the church. Religion is a huge creator of revenue and power. It’s all about control. Awfully funny how so many laws and rules of God are similar. Control. You people can accept that santa isn’t real yet you suddenly are 3 years old when it comes to this jests. And why is it that he hasn’t come back? Or that we have no actual photographs of him or real records of his last time here? Why is it that it was soooooo darn long ago that we can’t prove or disprove his presence on earth? Awfully fishy to me, and yet very clever. Look, they say everything has a creator. A painting has a painter and a building has a builder, and this earth has God. However you can usually call or text or email the painter, and when you roof blows off from a storm you can call the builder, but when the fuck is the last time you successfully got through to God’s phone? 555-1212?do you even have his phone number? Who’s his service provider? What’s his email? Stop praising someone so much for doing everything for you that he hasn’t truly done. We are all capable of accomplishing amazing things, and when we do we need to learn how to credit ourselves for it. Humans are very sophisticated, why can’t we accept that were capable of so many things and instead have to thank this imaginary being for everything. Back to prayer though… This is my favorite thing religious people do. What about all the amputee victims? I guarantee they pray to God for help getting that limb back… However we know that never happens and when asked why this is religious people experience an awkward feeling and almost always have to use an excuse along the lines of well, that must be gods special plan for him.. God has a plan for him or her, or them or has a plan for me, when really this has a plan line is but a line of mumbo jumbo. It means nothing, it’s an empty useless line. So why can god answer my prayers or requests but not poor children who have lost limbs or are starving and dying in other countries. Why do we have jets offs blowing people up in Boston, crashing planes in new York,shooting people in movie theaters, or in schools? Less people believe now days, and the more educated people don’t believe. You people need to get a grip on reality and stop it with being so judgemental, and pushy. Worse off religious people are so open about it and push it on others yet a guy who speaks out against it isn’t allowed. How do you say the word Cult.
    Get a life. God’s a dick, and you people are all followers. Sheep. Live by your own morals.. You know Wittout a bible what’s wrong and right. You know within and without God that killing is not what were supposed to do, or that being hateful is negative and gets us nowhere, weknow all this things. CCheck out God is imaginary. Com and watch the videos, take the challenges and see how many of the questions you can truly answer with real supportive documented educated answers. Remove the whole faith thing and you’re left sitting there saying wtf. Open your minds.

  • lauradanae

    needed this desperately

  • @Carolynmimi praying…also praying for God’s perfect will in your life JuneBug.

  • jesusgirl71

    Wow, Scripturesque! How profound! I never heard that before! Thank you! That really helped me in a situation I am in! Thank you for this! I can’t tell you how much it means!

  • jesusgirl71

    I so agree. I get as much out of the comments as the devotions! Junebug, I have to say, I always look forward to your comments. I can so relate to your fear. Thank you for sharing because now I know I’m not alone.

    • JuneBug

      I'm so encouraged jesusgirl71. It's a really sweet thing to know that I'm working through this "fear stuff" with others here. Bless you dear sister. :)

  • jesusgirl71

    Bianca,

    Wow! I am doing “Jesus Calling” too! How neat! I love it!

  • Obedience – doing the right thing (whatever God has directed us to do) for the right reason (because God directed us and our love for Him) at the right time (no hesitation/no delay).

  • Candacejo

    What a blessing you all have been today! I didn't get to post this morning, just a quick hello to Holly and then I had to go. But I finally got back to read your comments and wow…you have all ministered in a mighty way! I have nothing to say except one thing I have heard quite a bit through the years about the will of God: If you are walking with Him, hand in hand…doing your best to please the Lord, until He moves you to another place or opens another door, that IS the will of God for your life at that time. You ARE in the will of God!

    Don't keep looking for it, worrying about it, wondering about it and driving yourself crazy thinking you have missed it. LIVE IN IT, Sister! You ARE in it! So seize the moment that He has you in for now! Be prayerful enough and sensitive enough to listen for His voice to know if it is time to move but otherwise keep working and doing and serving…that is the will of God.

    Just a thought from the cheap seats :)

    Love you all! You are the best! ♥

  • Ellen MR

    I sure am one that has a hard time understanding what the Lord's will is for me. Sometimes it is crystal clear, or so I think, then i'm not sure again… Patience is NOT my virtue! But if or when I think I should do something God has put on my heart, I am not one that's really bothered by what people think or say about what I do. I've been the decision maker (as I said before) and can handle some criticism or whatever. But now my concern would be disappointing or failing Him because i'm too rash or not understanding what He wants for me. I also don't want to be a quitter or not grow because something seems insurmountable. On one hand I can be stubborn as a mule when I want something, but other times I will take the easiest way and give up out of frustration! I guess I really need to apply "it's the carrying it out that stretches us" part of this devo. I need to believe He WILL give me success, if I just carry it out!
    Peace and love to all my Sisters! :)

    • Peggy

      And He will, dear Ellen! Really wonderful thoughts that I so can relate to… I need to apply that part too! Carry on, sister in Christ! and He will carry you! Time to be stretched, I guess for both of us. I so often am concerned if I fail … especially HIM!

      Peace, love and blessings as you're being stretched and carrying IT out,
      Peggy

  • elizabeth

    I just was thinking about this!! (and blogged about it: http://www.untilonlyloveremains.com/2013/05/a-cal… A wise lady once told me a something I will never forget:

    "God does not call us to a place, He calls us to Himself"

    when we seek Him will will always be smack in the middle of His will for us!

    • AmyHale

      Love that! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Carolynmimi

      And "smack" dab in the middle of His will is the only true safe place ANYWHERE!

    • Peggy

      Oh Elizabeth, that was really good! Thank you for sharing! Love your blog and blog post
      "God doesn't call us to a place, He calls us to Himself"

      Awesome! Beautiful! and ever so true… just like it's been said "God does not call the equipped, He equips the called." Took me awhile to get that!

      I pray that Our MESSIAH meets you right in the middle of your MESS! Take a break in His arms! Your words touched my heart and I prayed for you!!! Lord Jesus, Surround Elizabeth and scoop her. for up in this time of STRESS, feeling overwhelmed, as she seeks You. Take away the anxiety and the irritability (I need that too) and fill us with Your heavenly peace and meet us where we are at… waiting! Thanks for the calling! Thanks for her heart and fill her overflowingly with Your love and reassurance of Your will and good for her… in Jesus' sweet name…

  • So my OBSERVATION for today's reading (after all that 2 part above):

    We can TRUST in GOD to help us ACCOMPLISH His will!

    We can TRUST GOD in our silence, in our "waiting in the work"!

    and my APPLICATION (even though it has nothing to do with my previous lengthy explanation-lol)
    Do you feel like you are being attacked? Are you up against a difficult situation or an imposing problem?
    Run to God and know that He is with you and will protect you. Thank Him for protecting you in every circumstance—especially the one you are facing right now.

    My INSPIRATION quote from my Bible's devo …

    "You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you." ~ Max Lucado (Traveling Light)

    • Carolynmimi

      Love it Peggy. So glad you are serving The Lord in Mexico. We have special ties there due to multiple mission trips. Where are you located?

      • Peggy

        Currently on the Pacific coast, in the area around Mazatlan, Sinaloa

      • Peggy

        So what part of Mexico do you all have ties with mission trips?

        My home church goes to Puebla alot."Esperanza Viva" Now there is one closer on the border near Texas in Matamoros! God moved in my heart in another area since I came here back in 1995-96. My first trip as a high schooler, brought me through the mountains and around Mexico City, when I promised myself and God, I'd be back (just not in that area or Puebla). He spoke to me here and gave me a heart for His people that come from all over Mexico to here. Then later in 2007, spoke a new mission into my heart for the "trafficked". So I'm still waiting in that area as I pray, prepare and research and wait for doors or ministries to join hands because that is SUCH a BIG need and can be quite dangerous in the times as they are now with the increased violence, resistance, persecutions, etc. from the world and the drug cartels, etc. controlling so much, the corruption comes from the top all the way through to the bottom, endless injustices that break my heart time and time again.

        • Peggy

          oh and my first mission trip was short term with a student group in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon but was way too short for me. (that was in the early 90s)

  • I cannot believe this … I finally made it to the comment section but as you may know that if I'm sidetracked along the way, reading other's comments, I loose mine, so much for that for today, but tomorrow's a new day, and a new chance… but as I was saying (sign from God?), I cannot believe… even the computer I'm using said PLEASE WAIT (how did I miss that before) … cuz ya' know, I'm a "JUST DO IT" kind of a gal … and my problem is learning to wait and when to say "yes", "no" or "wait". I use to say that I'm impulsive, but I pray that God is at work and changing that in me. For some reason, when I read the titles of the devo's, I want to make the connection to what the reading was and why that seemed to be the focus! Because as many of you remarked on the part where Nehemiah took a breath, a PAUSE and was silent. (that'd be the day when I can do this)… but it's exactly what God spoke to my heart.

    You see, when I see a need, I (use to) just do it! …when I hear about something, I'm usually moved to ACT or respond.
    I waited til I was in my 40s to ACT on the call God placed on my life in sixth grade. I was waiting for God to get a hold of my husband, I was waiting for God and me to align our timing (not necessarily my heart with His, cuz I do believe it was His heart, His passion that motivated me and stirred the urgency time and time again, keeping the vision and hope alive in me) while I waited. I was waiting for my husband's retirement, so I could finally move in the direction God initially gave me for my purpose and His plan for me. Mexico. So here I am and here I've been since my husband retired. But I have not.

    You see, I just DID it! I had to move! I had to tell. I had to share! I could no longer wait. But I should have. I should have waited until God moved on my husband's heart and life or maybe not. I'll never know now. We ended up parting our ways. No, it was not God's plan, but it was not God's plan that I marry him either. Cuz as I've said, I just do it! God help me. and He has, He is ever so faithful!!!

    [too long comment, continued below in reply] Yeah, I get it, I should have just journaled this for me. Maybe that's what God wanted me to do write it out and then save it for me. Forgive me SRT… if this does not seem to apply to y'all! and for going with the flow… here! sorry :(

    • Peggy

      I'm a day ahead in my You Version plan so forgive me for commenting on just the key words "JUST DO IT". By no means am I trying to say that we should not "JUST DO IT" (even Mary, Jesus' mother, said this) but how Sarah ended this is much better "just begin the good work." Thanks Sarah! I really loved this bold point (even though Junebug highlighted the point before it for her) this is what I needed: "There comes a point, with a prayer and pure motives, where we just begin the good work." and from this place, God will bless the good work, from prayer and PURE motive. He will work inspite of our MESSES and impulses, that's (as Lysa TerKeurst wrote once) the reason we need a MESSIAH to save us from our mess.

      Did anyone notice after months of traveling and preparation, Nehemiah still waited 3 days!??? Then he tells a few others, and inspects the walls. The gracious hand of God, indeed was on Nehemiah! What a great example!

      My own actions (first of marrying) were in rebellion to my own parent's (a price I've paid dearly for) and repented and asked my dad for forgiveness years ago. But that is why this is the part that stood out for me in today's reading:
      "Are you rebelling against the king?" and Nehemiah's reply. I do realize that the question was about an earthly king/ruler and asked by the mockers… however, I read this for me as "Are you rebelling against the KING?" to remind me of the price a root of rebellion costs, when we move ahead of Our King, and His will, thinking that we know the game plan better than He does. It has taken years for me to be set free of my rebellious nature. It was a definite stronghold in my life. God has shown me and humbled me. Yet I'm ever so thankful, He still chisels away at any pidgeon of rebellion before it rises up in me again. My earthly dad's final letter to all of us, left in his Bible, gave me his forgiveness and I treasure that letter. Today, I ask for my Heavenly Father's forgiveness and my husband's (as I have many times) in hopes that God will still save my husband. And also that I will be able to say as Nehemiah said: "… The God of heaven will give us success. We His servants will start rebuilding … " I have been waiting, wandering and wondering God's next move and will for me as I listen more carefully now, trust Him completely and try to obey. Meanwhile, I wait for what God is doing back home, building and rebuilding, but wanting more than ever to see God's hand and spirit touch others. Our physical home in MN had an all consuming, total-out FIRE last fall and is being rebuilt as I wait from afar. My husband asked me NOT to come home when it happened but to do him the favor to wait from afar until it's done and then we will celebrate because at the time, it was more than he could handle. So I did abide and am waiting because I believe God allowed this fire to once again try to reach my husband. We lost many family keepsakes and my husband's various educational collections of videos and books, among normal losses, yet God miraculously protected a closet of mine that guarded some of my family keepsakes and personal possessions like photos,etc. God is so good! So this is one "JUST DO IT" that I did not do and we will see how God may still move in ways we cannot comprehend, because as Teresa already shared from Isaiah 55:8-9 that our thoughts are not His thoughts nor our ways His ways … but I am praying in this silence, That God have His way!!!

      Have a blessed day!
      Peggy

  • There is so much guidance in Nehemiah that I find personally helpful. Nehemiah was a well learned man, if he was the kings wine stewart. He lived a good, safe life. And yet God laid this vision of rebuilding Jerusalems’ walls. God opened the doors. God allowed him to quietly go about this work, and gave him tools to start.

    It all shows me that it will flow seamlessly if your stewardship is truly from our Lord. He meets our needs, we must just be patient in Him. Afterall, Nehemiah waited FOUR YEARS before God opened the way. But when He opened it, everything came together as God planned.

    Great instructions, easy to follow, and I’m believing in perfect completion.

    Loving this plan . Thank you all for great comments.

    Holding you all up in prayer.

  • Good morning sister. Blocking out the naysayers is so true. Sometimes people in our lives wants us to do "their" will instead of Gods will. they want understand why you doing what your doing and will always have something negative to say. But as long as you have pure motives and God is pleased with it then the negative comments doesn't matter.I believe Gods will for our lives is to live a life of worship and praise. God wants His greatest creation to worship Him and to love Him. once we do that then God will reveal to His purpose in our lives and what he needs for us to do. Everyone has a specific purpose and no one else can fulfill your purpose but you.so sisters Lets keep our minds focus on the Lord so when the naysayers do come and try to pour out discouragement we can hold on to Gods infalliable word.:) be blessed sisters today and all days

  • Julie V.

    "… neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem;…" (KJV)

    I love how Nehemiah took ownership of his relationship with God – "my God". He is not an impersonal God, he is MY God. You see that phrase in verse 9 and 18 of the same chapter.

    Nehemiah didn’t “shout it from the mountain top” when they reached Jerusalem, he kept it in his heart. A verse that came to mind is Luke 2:19 – "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Can you imagine going through everything she did up to that point and NOT saying anything aloud?! (Talk about some self-control.)

    It can be hard to not “shout” and bring some glory to Him at every step, but if we wait until He wants us to, it will bring Him the most glory in His timing.

  • Carolynmimi

    THANKS FOR ALL THE PRAYERS! My husband has seen the doctor and they are doing some lab work, EKG, etc. and referring him to Cardiologist. Come to find out–typical male behavior–he has been experiencing some issues lately.

    Love to all.

    • Peggy

      Hmmmm ain't that the way with men? Still praying for ALL to be covered by God's grace! hang in there… and I sure am glad that this is all being checked out and someone finally admitted to their issues … (sigh) thanks for the update! Hoping and believing! with you

    • Candacejo

      Praying for both of you today Carolyn…

    • LaurenC_

      I'm on SRT late at night, as usual, so I've just read your comments and prayed about your husband. Very very glad he got a referral. Keep us posted as things progress. I hope you can reschedule your lunch out with friends!

  • I can definitely relate to Nehemiah feeling led to keep silent when he needed to. I have something in my life where the most prudent thing will be to wait and hear from the Lord, but it's HARD! Nonetheless, He is with me. And that's really all that matters.

    On today's devotion: I'm still in "discovering God's will mode" for this summer and this next year, so for the next little bit I have to do more waiting. This is such a great charge for me to, once I know where to go and what to do, to immediately go there and do it!

    Prayers are definitely going out for all you lovely ladies in this study. God Bless!

  • Charmaine

    Praying for you and your husband Carolyn..

  • scripturesque

    I think the question,"how do I know God's will?", must be one of the top 3, along with "can I lose my salvation?" and "will we have dogs in heaven?" One of the wisest women I know once said to me when I was wondering if I was thinking correctly concerning God's will. She asked me, "are you praying, are you in the Word consistently?" Her next statement is what has stuck, she said, "then you can trust what you are thinking". I believe there are many people who don't act because they are frozen in fear of doing the wrong thing instead of trusting God to direct and redirect them.

    Much Grace Ladies

  • I love verse 12 where Nehemiah said that he had "told no one what God had put in his heart to do." I think, sometimes, we are too quick to blab every time God speaks to us – much like Joseph being so quick to tell his dreams to his brothers. Sometimes, we need to just let it marinate for awhile and wait for God's timing on when to share.

  • Great study and awesome comments! I gain as much from the comments as I do the lesson!

    So many things have struck me about this lesson

    God had put this huge plan in Nehemiah’s heart. And wow, huge it was. He kept it silent (ok, I need to work on that!) and he faced huge undaunting obstacles including the hecklers! But he didn’t waver! Wow! When I start something God has laid on my heart and reach an obstacle, I start questioning, ok, did I hear God right, should I really be doing this? I love some of the comments above! If we are seeking God, praying, in His Word, aligning our hearts with Him, we ARE where He wants us to be, we ARE in HIS will!

    I want to be a part of the building/ rebuilding process and be supportive to others that have a vision when I don’t! And when God gives me a vision to do a good work, to make it all about HIM not me. For His Glory, not mine!!

    Praying for Carolyn’s husband. And Holly trying to conceive! And Bianca and Amy from yesterday!! God’s Ways are bigger than our ways, His Thoughts bigger than our thoughts! Sorry can’t remember the reference for that verse!

    • Peggy

      AMEN! Great insights and reflections, Teresa! Love your honesty! in () and the truths woven throughout what struck you … wonderful. I too gain so much from the devo and comments!

      May God hear your payers and your "wannas" …may we all be a part of the rebuilding or building process, avoid the undaunted obstacles, the naysayers and hecklers, be unwavering, support and encourage others. May your vision be all about God's glory and Him! May you hold on and patiently wait for your own vision when you see others with a vision and yours has not yet come. It's coming! You have a heart seeking God and it's beautiful!

      Have a blessed day,
      Peggy

  • "A point when we stop surmising what we don’t have to accomplish the task and when we stop examining how very hard it will be."

    Oh boy. Today's reading hit me straight between the eyes. Now everything I read this morning has been echoing the same message. I've been backing away from something that has been on my heart for a long time. I've argued with God about it, laying out my points to Him for why I can't do it.

    I'm not ready. I'm scared.
    My life doesn't look perfect yet.
    I don't have time.
    I'll be robbing valuable time away from my family.
    I'm not good enough.
    I don't know where or how to start.
    Others will not be accepting.
    I AM SCARED! …and on and on.

    And while those voices loop through my mind on a daily basis, I hear God's voice whisper, "You can do it. I AM with you. Look to Me. Do not be afraid. You are my daughter. Trust Me." And still…I feel too frozen to act. Just as I think I have enough courage to start, I just…don't. Oh, I have some work to do. Thank you for writing this encouraging reminder Sarah! Blessings to all!

    • Ellen MR

      Dear JuneBug- I of course don't know what you are contemplating, but i DO KNOW you are an extremely intelligent, articulate, well spoken (written) Sister who's heart and faith are very evident. I'm sure you would do yourself, your family and God proud, whatever it may be. Best wishes on your endeavor! I'll be praying for you, that God's will be made clear to you so that you may move forward in His work. Blessings to you and yours!

    • Sarah

      When I am in the fearful spot, I remind myself that the most repeated command in the Bible is to not be afraid. He wasn't kidding. Don't back away, JuneBug. He will bless your obedience beyond what you can even imagine!

    • JuneBug

      I sure feel held up with the kind words of encouragement. I'm taking it as further confirmation that it's high time I let go of the fear that holds me back. Thanks friends! You have know idea what that means to me. God bless you.

  • I find myself searching many things on Google as well! LOL! Today’s devo was right on point with another daily devo that I’ve been studying lately, Jesus Calling.

    In Jesus Calling, a part says “I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to mine. Thus you stay close to me on the path of Peace.” I pray that I’m living the will that God has for my life! God knows all of my desires but those desires may not be what God has planned for me. I’ve slowly come to peace with this (its been a struggle because I’ve lived so long making decisions on my own without seeking God first). But I do know that whatever it is God ha planned for my life (and all of ours) is perfect, abundant, full of joy and peace!

    • Ellen MR

      I relate to that too Bianca! For far too long I've been making all the decisions without seeking God, which can be a real problem! Now I need to stop, think about it, ask/pray for His direction in all things. Quite a change for me! ;)

  • Carolynmimi

    I am writing before I read anyone's insights into this section of our study of Nehemiah and the SRT devotional. For some reason God led me to the book of Esther where I read:

    For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’ (Esther 4:14 NIVUK)

    WHO KNOWS? Wherever we are today, whatever twists, turns, needs in our path…Perhaps we are in that place, that position to repair and rebuild a section of the Body of Christ .

    I awoke this morning anticipating lunch with friends, a rare delight for me. Within seconds that changed for I heard a thump in the bathroom and found my husband flat on his back unconcious on the bathroom floor. Not sure what happened. He says he feels fine now, but I am calling his doctor to see if we can get him in. But WHO KNOWS what God has planned.

    Love to you all.. I look forward to mulling over your insights and prayer requests later this morning.

    • Stacy

      How scary that must have been! Praying for your husband this morning.

    • JuneBug

      Praying for your husband Carolynmimi! What a shock that must have been!

    • Peggy

      Oh no Carolyn …. I hope he is alright and are able to find out quickly and resolve well.

      Father God, we lift Carolyn and her hubby before You. We trust in You and in Your wisdom and great plan for them. Thank You for favor to be able to attend to this with the proper medical care! Thank You for prompt wisdom. Give them strength and peace as they wait. You are his Great Physician. You are Jehovah Rapha! We call on You to watch over him and care for Him this day! Thank You for Carolyn and her willingness to forego her plans for this day as she waits! Thank You for Your grace to cover them both as they face this day in a different way. Be with them. Reassure them along the way! Provide and protect them. Holy Spirit walk with them and pour out Your best for any and all that may be needed in Jesus beloved name, I pray …

      :0) Carolyn, I see that you took my own advice to me (lol)… I do hope all goes well, not that there was a twist in your day! How interesting that God led you to Esther! Who knows … for such a time as this. May He guide you and your path this day, with the twist and turn … may you hold on to His truth, peace and comfort in His Promises! Looking forward to more good news and insights when you return.

      Blessings … keeping you both in my mind and prayers this day,
      Peggy

      • Peggy

        oh and I too was going to do what you did but scrolling down the page to the comments, I lost my way and my eyes and heart were immediately drawn to this. So there goes commenting first before reading everyone else's. Maybe tomorrow! :) ???

      • Carolynmimi

        yes, I did take your advice to write what comes to me as I first read and then read others insights…my old grey mind aint what it used to be..and i can get carried off pretty easily..so much to consider,,so many prayer needs..

        SO BLESSED TO BE A PART OF THIS COMMUNITY!

    • Ellen MR

      Carolynmimi, sending prayers to our Lord and Savior that He will watch over both of you, and bring you thru whatever may be happening! Give your husband our regards, and praying for strength and peace for you both Sister!

  • The part of the reading today that made an impression on me was where Nehemiah said that he didn't share with anyone what God put in his heart. So many times I feel like I know what God has said to me and I share too quickly with some others. Just like in our devotion yesterday, the quote that said that waiting is never wasted. Also learned this from Beth Moore, she said that waiting time is not leisure time.

    Lord, help me to get to work doing your will today and everyday. Amen

  • Leenda324

    I’m praying that today’s devo will be the word someone (or more than one someones) needed to hear to move forward and take that “bungee jump with Jesus”!

  • jesusgirl71

    Enter text right here!I love the statement that our obedience is not our own. that hit me! Even to obey, we need His help.

  • rocknitat55

    Oh Sarah, the devotion is so on point for me this morning. Time to just do the work. As a leader in ministry I spend a lot of time praying, debating, His Will. Correctness. His Will is in his Word. And if I listen to the Holy Spirit that lives within me I will be directed on how to walk this Work out. As I proceede with the ministry God has given me; Discipleship thru Hospitality (Gen 18:1-18), there are definitely naysayers… just an excuse to eat, their building a clique, etc. Oh, one can become so distracted by the chatter. But I like what you said… just go forth, do the work. My call is not to reason how or why but to do or die! And eternally we never die in Christ.

    Father in the name of Jesus thank you for helping me to rise above the chatter. Thank you for Demacus road experiences. Thank you for choosing me, for many are called but few are choosen.

    I will do the work while there is still day in my life. Amen.

    Blessings and thoughtfulness on this Thursday sisters!

  • I often struggle because I dont feel I know what God is willing for my life. But I guess because I so badly want what He wants for me, I should just "begin doing the good work" and His plan will become clear. I just never know when to wait patiently or move… a little help here! :)

    • glossedmimi

      Yes!! I always have to wonder if it's the still small voice or my own when it comes to God's will for my life. Sometimes it's loud and clear and other times not so much. It's during those times I think patience is key until we absolutely know

    • Nicole

      If you'd like some guidance, Steven Furtick at Elevation Church has some great messages about knowing God's Will. You can find the sermon archive here: http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/archive (you can also find them on itunes, which is awesome!). Their most recent series, "God's Will is Whatever" and a series from a few years ago called "Grey Matter" have both really helped me.

      I personally have been wrestling with the waiting recently. Do I wait or do I move? I've been waiting so very long, and I feel as if I should be doing something. For me, it was about discerning where this desire to be productive was coming from. Was it me being impatient, or was it God prompting me to move. After a little prayer and self-reflection, I knew it was me wanting to move and not completely trusting God to do the work He said He would do in my waiting. I needed to surrender my plan, my way, and my desires to Him and let me keep me in the waiting. If you decide that's where you are too (and even if not!) read this amazing post from (in)courage about how God keeps us in the waiting: http://www.incourage.me/2012/10/he-kept-me.html.

      I think this is something we all struggle with, but at the end of the day, our prayers must be "Lord, I want to be where you are." And I think if we're in prayer, seeking his face, and aligning our heart with him, he'll show us the way; and any time that we get off track, as long as we're sensitive to the Spirit, living in community, and holding fast to the desire to be where He is, He'll let us know.

      Hope this is at all helpful. Blessings to you as you seek Him.

      • SarahE

        Nicole,
        Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! I will definitely look into those resources.
        Blessings

      • Sarah

        Nicole, I have listened to Pastor Steven's sermons on this topic MULTIPLE times. They are so wonderful. We painted our kitchen one of those 43 shades of orange last week. We just have to open the can and paint instead of getting all caught up in the details! (and now no one else has a clue what I'm talking about) :)

    • Sarah

      I believe that we need to make God's waiting rooms into our work rooms! He doesn't want us to wait on Him to do His work. As long as we keep moving in His name, I don't think we can make a wrong turn.

    • LaurenC_

      I often struggle with this question also. My life hasn't exactly gone "according to plan" (mine) and so I try to tell myself that God is a God of certainty, not doubt. He's a God of confidence, not confusion. When I feel anxious, confused, or in doubt about whether to wait or act, I try to just stop. Stop wondering, stop worrying, stop analyzing. I try to just be quiet. I ask for God's confidence and certainty, but I try not not to put limits, conditions, or a timeline on His certainty. It's not easy, I often falter, and that's why I've used the word "try" so much! I try to remember the times when I have felt full of assurance and confidence that whatever decision I was about to make was the right one – not in a giddy, excited way but in a quiet way. A knowing. In those moments, if I acted on that decision and that feeling of faith, I was never disappointed with the outcome. Now, I am quite the hard head and so I haven't always acted on those moments of certainty. But I've learned over many years and many heartaches & mistakes to pay attention when those moments come. I consciously feel the calm, the peace. I feel God in those moments, His certainty. For big life issues and choices, I try to remember that fear and worry are not at all a part of God and I've learned not to decide anything in those moments. For smaller, day to day choices, I know that I tend to play it a little too safe oftentimes and that maybe a few butterflies in my stomach are a good thing, because then I'm challenging myself and breaking out of whatever rut I may be in. Even when we try but fail in what we think is the good work, God honors the try – which makes me think of Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man In The Arena."

  • Father, I thank you and praise You because You give us success as we start re-building – our relationship with You, our marriages, our relationships with our children, our finances. We know our lives are broken, sometimes, like the Israelites, due to disobedience, give us strength to start the re-building.

  • anngoerz

    Good morning ladies!:)

    I absolutely love verse 12: "I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart…"

    So often I get excited to share things with people and wind up sharing things too soon..There is wisdom in waiting the right time to come to tell people God's plan for you. I am learning this. I also love the great response he received from his people when he did tell them (at exactly the right time)!:)

    Also, Holly, I've totally been there and understand;) I will pray it happens soon for you so that you don't go crazy:P

    • Elizabeth

      This is me! I also get really excited when I see (or at least, think I see) God lining things up in my life and then frequently I feel Him whispering to me, "be patient." It's tough, but I also find myself going back to Paul's statement that janelle mentioned – that He WILL carry out His works to completion! When I am discouraged, I have to remember this.

    • rocknitat55

      Ann, I totally know where you are coming from. I have learned from trial and error to just remain still and quiet. Season and timing is everything. I often think about Joseph and how quickly and earnestly he was about sharing his dreams. Every one with you is not for you.
      Its so natural to want to share. God bless you my sister.

    • Stacy

      Just saw your comment. I thought the SAME thing when I was leaving my comment this morning. That verse really stood out to me. I tend to get all excited and blab before I even fully understand what God may be telling me. Trying to learn to hold my tongue and be still. :)

    • Sarah

      Ann, I do this too, dang it. I get all worked up about the "next thing" that I feel God has planned for me, and then I have to eat a little crow when He takes a detour. But I'm grateful for those detours, because they always lead to the perfect place!

  • i love the assurance with which paul states: confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion (phil 1:6). breaking nehemiah's heart? God's work. the restoration of Jerusalem? God's work. overcoming the difficulty? God's work. we get to be His joyful hands – in His good work :).

  • Thanks Julia that’s is the point exactly. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

    Lets be building on His will here in quiet ways not to draw attention to ourselves and not by screaming and fighting with nay Sayers but by being focused on the task at hand, feeling privileged that we can have a hand doing the will of God. Sermon out God’s will throughout the day asking always if you need me here I am use me. That is my prayer.

  • "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".. oh Lord give me strength, wisdom + focus to do Your work.

    • brighton

      the sermon i heard on sunday was all about this part of the Lord's prayer. love today's message :)

  • I love what you said about Google searches! My husband and I are currently trying to conceive, and it's a little maddening…really. I HAVE to stop GOOGLING! Last month, I actually typed in "nose twitches early pregnancy symptom."

    Ha! And I can tell you guys that b/c you are sisters in Christ and you have to love me anyway. :)

    Last week, one of our pastors said something that totally resonated with me. She said (I'm totally paraphrasing).

    "Eventually, your heart will become so aligned with the heart of God that you will want what He wants….so basically….do what "you" want."

    I hope that makes sense. This was the answer she had given in children's church…so yes….pretty basic.

    In many ways…it is that simple.

    Have a great day!

    • Candacejo

      That's too cute! And yes, we love you anyway :)

    • rocknitat55

      I like what your pastor said. I choose to believe that. Thanks

    • JuneBug

      So funny! I googled some pretty bizarre things before I knew I was pregnant also. Praying that good news arrives for you soon. :)

    • Stacy

      Between google and WebMD – I'm a mess!

      That makes perfect sense! I want to be a woman after God's own heart and to want the things He wants.

    • Carolynmimi

      I love it Holly..God changes our hearts to want what He wants and then it is what we want. Love it!

    • Sarah

      Yes! I love that concept, Holly, that just by desiring to do God's will, we will be put in a place where He will see it through. And girl, trust me, Googling is not your friend in the TTC genre. :) Prayers for you and your husband on your journey!

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